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9-steps-feature

“Old age is just a record of one’s whole life.” – Muhammad Ali

I’ve always set goals, made lists, and followed action steps – all so I could hit my target. The steps help me achieve success, so it’s no wonder I want to use this proven model to achieve my goal of living the rest of my life in the healthiest way possible.

I was born on July 14, 1941. I am 75. That used to sound old – but not anymore. I plan to hit 100, so I still have 25% of my life to live. Having a strong finish in my Q4 will be important.

Just like years ago when I wrote out my Unifying Principles, now, with help from Dan Buettner at Blue Zones, I am sitting down to plan for a strong finish to what has been a great run.

Step One

9-steps-bruceMove, and do it naturally – not repetitively. I don’t need to pump iron, run marathons or even join a gym, I just need to stay active. Walking, swimming, some time on my bike along with a full list of chores will do it. I want to keep moving without thinking too much about it.

Step Two

Have a good reason to wake up each day. I have a wonderful wife and great family so that is reason enough, plus I now have Louisa Dear McIntyre by my side. She helps me get up and out the door each day.

Step Three

Relax and breathe. It’s the beginning and ending of everything. Take time for a nap. Reflect with gratitude. Enjoy!

Step Four

Eat right and eat only most of it. Make the right choices, they do matter. Also, forget the clean plate club, I don’t need to top off my tank three times each day. 80% done is done.

Step Five

Beans are the real deal. Have you seen this video? Caution, it’s not pretty.

This may already be your choice, if so, congratulations. It isn’t fully mine yet, but I think more about it all the time.

Step Six

Wine is divine, but it’s not mine. They say a little wine each day is good. Maybe, but some of us don’t do little. There are other ways to get the same benefits. Red grapes and grape juice have all of the health-protecting antioxidants and don’t make me act and sound funny, that gets embarrassing for oldsters.

Step Seven

Belong somewhere – to something. Get plugged in. A faith-based group is best, but anywhere I can belong and attend regularly keeps me in community.

Step Eight

Family is First. Close ties between generations, a commitment to a life partner, even family reunions are all part of this next to last step.

Step Nine

Keep the right friends and step away from those who aren’t. The more my friends can join me in my first eight steps the better chance I have of a good Q4. If they aren’t part of the plan, maybe they should get off my bus.

There you have my nine steps. Many are similar to what I wrote in my Unifying Principles. The final step in my original list was, “Have fun and smile easily, be honest with myself.” That will be the repeating mantra to each of my new nine steps.

Will I make it to 100? Who knows, but I will have a better chance, plus more fun along the way, with the help from my friends at Blue Zones.

Do you have a list like mine? What do you think? Have I left out something or can you tell me what step I don’t need?

Tell us about people you know who have lived long lives. How did they do it?

As always, the conversation starts here.

“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran

Epilogue

Get acquainted with Blue Zones, they have cities springing up everywhere. Do you think Charlotte should be a Blue Zone city?